Labonté Joins Team Samsung

National Ice Sledge Hockey Captain will help company promote the sport in the lead up to the Games

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Jan. 26 /CNW/ - Samsung Electronics, the Worldwide Olympic and Paralympic Partner for wireless telecommunications equipment, today announced Jean Labonté, captain of the Canadian National Ice Sledge Hockey Team, as the latest member of Team Samsung.

Team Samsung is a group of high-profile brand ambassadors who represent the spirit of the Games and are working with the company to build excitement around and increase access to the sport in the lead-up to the 2010 Winter Games. Led by ice hockey legend and Olympian Wayne Gretzky, other members of Team Samsung include Hayley Wickenheiser, captain of the Women's National Hockey Team, two-time Olympic gold medalist and one silver; Jarome Iginla, NHL All Star, two-time Olympian and Olympic gold medalist.

"It's an honour to be added to the Team Samsung roster, joining this phenomenal group of hockey stars as Canada prepares to go for gold at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games," said Labonté. "Samsung is a company that is truly dedicated to sports and, through the power of its technology, is striving to make the 2010 Winter Games among the most accessible in terms of instant access to information on Olympic and Paralympics competitions and cultural events."

In 1986, Labonté was diagnosed with osteosarcoma - the same form of cancer that claimed Terry Fox's leg - in his left tibia at the age of 17 and eventually lost his leg four years later. After his amputation, he turned his sights towards Ice Sledge Hockey and made the Canadian National Ice Sledge Hockey team for the first time in 1996. His first international tournament was that same year at the IPC World Championships held in Nynashamn, Sweden. He was on the Canadian team that won the 2006 Ice Sledge Hockey gold medal at the Torino 2006 Paralympic Winter Games and has been the captain of the Canadian Paralympic Team since the 2007-08 season.

"Jean is a testament to how passionate Canadians are about hockey and is a great role model for anyone who might face obstacles in becoming actively involved in playing the sport," said Benjamin Lee, President and CEO, Samsung Electronics Canada Inc. "As the captain of the national Ice Sledge Hockey team, Jean's passion for the game and desire to play serve as an inspiration for all Canadians and we are thrilled to have him join Team Samsung."

In his first appearance as a member of Team Samsung, Labonté will visit the Samsung Canada headquarters in Mississauga to give a motivational speech for employees.

The other Team Samsung ambassadors have already begun several promotional activities with Samsung. Wickenheiser and Iginla will be appearing in several upcoming Samsung advertisements including the company's first made-in-Canada TV spot. Some Team Samsung ambassadors will be making appearances at the Olympic Rendezvous @ Samsung (OR@S) - the epicenter of Samsung's activities during the Olympic Winter Games.

In November, Gretzky and Wickenheiser hosted the Samsung Hockey Camp for Kids in Calgary which saw 15 young hockey fans from across the country gather for a one-day hockey experience. The camp, conducted in partnership with Hockey Canada, also included a $10,000 charitable donation from Samsung Canada to the Hockey Canada Foundation. The funds will support the foundation's "Dream Come True" community initiative that provides underprivileged kids across Canada with the ability to discover the excitement of hockey by receiving a fully-funded season, complete with new equipment from head to toe.

About Samsung's Involvement in the Olympic Games

Samsung began its Olympic Games involvement as a local sponsor of the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games. Beginning with the Nagano 1998 Olympic Winter Games, the company extended its commitment to the Olympic Movement as the Worldwide Partner in the Wireless communications equipment category, providing its proprietary wireless telecommunications technology, called WOW (Wireless Olympic Works), and mobile phone products. These innovative technologies provide consumers and Olympic organizers with real-time information and communications services. Samsung's commitment as a Top Olympic Partner continues through the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

About Samsung Electronics

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in telecommunication and digital convergence technologies with 2008 consolidated sales of US$96 billion. Employing approximately 164,600 people in 179 offices in 61 countries, the company is recognized as one of the fastest growing global brands and a leading producer of mobile phones. For more information, please visit: http://www.samsung.com.

SOURCE Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

For further information: For further information: Brock Penner, APEX Public Relations for Samsung Electronics of Canada, Phone: (416) 924-4442 ext. 226, E-Mail: bpenner@apexpr.com

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